Bracelets – it’s a numbers game

When ever I make pieces of jewellery like earrings and bracelets I try to make sure there are several choices in each colour. There may not be duplicates of many, but so long as there are a few colour choices it helps.
This is why when I store my bracelets they are in their colour-ways. Returning from market and getting ready for another means laying them out and seeing what needs adding to. This is the best way to make sure there are not loads of one or two colours and only one choice for others.
On my table I can see 6 with blue (1 had red with and 1 has green and white), 4 with green, not including the one with blue, 5 red, 3 neutrals (brown, black, white) and one each of purple, pink and yellow/orange. I think I I went overboard on the greens, blue and red rather than having sold lots of the others.
I also find this is a great way to use up fiddly little beads, or what we call ‘bead soup’ – a mixup of all sorts of beads, where the quantity is not enough for one item, but perfect when mixed with others.
A selection of bead soup..

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So they will be my next job. These are memory wire bracelets. They are wound in such a way that they bounce back into shape and are easy to put on and off as there is no clasp. Just rounds of beads.
How many do I need to make. Well I like to have about 4-5 of each so I can mix and match what I take to each market. And for something like the Annual Fair coming up, they will all attend. Loads of choices, overloading the basket.

I then have a selection of semi precious memory wire bracelets and I will be doing the same with these. Checking out what beads I have to make new ones.

The numbers game – the smaller the beds the more I need – the fiddlier it is – the more time consuming.

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Then will come the normal clasp bracelets. I can see already it will be pink, purple and green. I might, if I have time, get a few more rings done, but they’re not so important.

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Clay time with flower stamps

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here, and believe me I’ve tried. So much has been happening in my personal life that I’ve barely had time to think crafty. That 3 weeks til market has shrunk ridiculously quickly and is down to less than one week. And I had all these great ideas to get some new items done. I have now got all the bits I wanted – from that cool book I bought – and can make any of the items when I am ready.
Today I am going to have a go at the clay. Its going to be easy. Well, simple projects. Pendants of clay, in bright colours with flower stamps (or indents) either left as pendants or simply strung on chain or ribbon.
That is the idea. I like my brights. That is my thing. Sure I could do muted tones, but while not ‘selling myself out’ I’d still rather not do them. I want to make things I like, and encourage the people that like the same things. Bright is beautiful, always reminiscent of summer and fun times.

Hmm, I’ve had a very little play and it seems that I really should be using ink with the stamps. The impression is alright but will better with ink. The to do some research.

~insert time lapse~

Alright, I’m back. Done some research, Made a few more purchases, and now waiting for the delivery.
I’ve baked the clay and they look ok. Bright colours are rarely classy and while I am not looking for that genre, I still want them to look good. I’ve decided a few can be made into a brooch with a cloth background. I think that might be ok. I also have to work hard at making things small. I need to make something, and then go, halve it. Then it might be the right size. But is that stepping away from who I am. I have to find a way to market my items towards those that like big bright jewellery.
These are the few pendants I made, I quite like them. The pink and green one was rounded and smoothed out before I baked them. I’m thinking of just stringing them on a simple chain or ribbon with the ink and white one being a vintage styled half beaded necklace.

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Sometimes trying new things is more than a gamble. It’s working out whether you want to keep doing it, or whether its something you can do. I visited a shop my mum was working in (as part of selling items there, the co op ask that you do some work as well) and saw lots of gorgeous pieces of jewellery that jolted me back to inspiration. And I think I know what I want. Making beads to be used in necklaces rather than the foal points. We’ll see how the next lot goes.

Jen

Magical Pliers

They arrived today. Those magical pliers that in my head had reached urban legend status until I saw them at the craft fair a month or so ago.
I wasn’t able to buy them but they were never far from my mind. I needed to replace a pair of bent one pliers so decided to forgo a cheaper price to get them both from the same shop. eBay is awesome!

I’m not so bad at making loops, wrapped loops even are ok. But they are never even. One end would be bigger than the other, and in some pieces it becomes a tad lopsided.
I love these pliers. I tested them out. Made a few loops, added a bead and made a loop. You do need to close the loops slightly, but that would need to be done anyway using round nose pliers.
In a word. Awesome!!

The picture shows the basics for how to use it, and I can say I am going to enjoy this one.
My round nose pliers will not be forgotten – if I want wrapped loops or bigger ones thats what I can use.
There are different pliers for different purposes and these will fit in the family easily and compliment the others.

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Finally packed and new items

It’s only taken me all week, but I am now finally sorted for the market this week.

Ready for market

Ready for market

I had wanted to take along some brand new items, so those felt balls I bought a while back came out and seven new simple necklaces were made.

Felt ball necklaces

Felt ball necklaces

The colours are predominately blue, pink and red, with some black, green and neutrals added in for good mesaure.  I don’t intend to make bulk of one – or several – colours, it’s just the way it goes sometimes.  And that is fine, next time it might be purple, orange and green.

Also made were 7 new bracelets to add some excitement.

Bracelets

Bracelets

I found some buttons, handmade by the lovely Nat from Peruzi, and finally used them in a couple of bracelets as a focal bead.

Beads from Peruzi

Beads from Peruzi

Have a great weekend, and hopefully on Monday my new pliers will arrive and I can share the wonder that is the looper pliers. Magical things they are.
Jennifer 🙂

Wire wrapping part 2

After my first attempt failed miserably wasn’t quite what I expected I thought I might try out some of the ‘easier’ wire projects and some of those bird nest pendants I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while.

~ time lapses ~

First I have tried the ‘bound chaos’ pendant. I thought more of ‘bundle of sticks’ but I have to agree their name is better. If I want to sell them I have to find my own name.
The instructions say to use 22 and 24 gauge* wire. The first time I used 22 and 26 as I have no 24 gauge and I found the whole thing a little too delicate. The picture in the book makes it look delicate but still chunky. And that’s exactly what I wanted.
The next two I made (with gold wire) were with 20 and 22 gauge wire. Perfect. Chunky but not too big and still delicate.

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*the larger the gauge number for wire there’re delicate it is. So a 14 or 16 is quite thick and a 26 delicate. 32 usage is good for knitting or crocheting items.

~ some more time lapses ~

Hip to be square pin. Or it could be circle.
This is something simple that might take the place of a brooch to hold your scarf or cardigan together. I have a brown cardi that while comfy and warm doesn’t tie up at the front. Unless I want to look like a sack of spuds. This would work nicely. I can make the pin with whatever colour bead I like to match my outfit. One shape with many pins.

The wire the book uses is 22g sterling silver and 26g for an embellishment, with a square bead on the end of 18g wire for the pin. I chose to use 20g and 18g silver with a red cinnabar bead for brightness and fun.
I used 140cm of wire instead of 180 (that’s a lot of wire!) for the body of the brooch and the pin had a longer bead with a long wrapped loop rather than just one or two wraps as is the norm. I also thought the longer wraps would match the length of the bead and having the wire over the top of the bead acts as a focal point on its own.
Tell me. Should I add more wire, red or silver as an embellishment? Simply wrapped around the existing wraps. I quite like it as it is.

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And according to the book

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I’m quite happy with both of these, the brooch/scarf pin particularly. I’m pretty sure there will be a wire work parts 3 and 4 coming up as I work my way through the book.
What do you think?

It’s on display…

Now fingers crossed it sells.
I have a gift box with pink ribbon ready for the lucky buyer.

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Jen 🙂

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Finished pics of new pretties

For those that already follow my Facebook page this is old news. For those thats don’t, why not???
Here are the finished pictures of my newest makes, already uploaded on the website and ready to go. I will probably take them to the market this weekend, but will refresh the website Sunday evening. If you really like something, don’t wait, grab it now.
All other details and more pictures of each item are on the website.

Malachite Owl, $28

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Sunshine Flowers $25

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Jumpin’ Jade $22

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Red seeds and squares $22

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Casual Blues $18

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And my favourite.
Gorgeous Garnet $30

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Don’t forget to check out lots more sweet pieces on my website www.marcatodesigns.com.au

Jennifer 🙂

Sneak portion-peaks of recent makes

Now I’ve had my sick day, which meant no making, or anything else for that matter. I am back, and raring to go.
Here are a few sneak portion pics of my recent makes and one under construction.

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Once I’m done with the last one, and get the good photos done, they will be shown in their full glory, and uploaded to the website and Facebook page.

Jen 🙂

More marvellous makes

Now that I have updated the website and added them to my facebook page, I will share my new makes with you.  I’m pretty happy with them. I’d like to hear what you think.

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All items for sale, with more detailed pictures, on my website: www.marcatodesigns.com.au

Jen 🙂

I’ve been shopping again

While I was wandering around the city yesterday I went off to Spotlight to check out their beady section and see what was on special. A few things, nothing I wanted but I did find this gorgeous owl, and a flower pendant that I can use on my asymmetrical necklaces. Being silver they will be easy enough to bead up.

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I also found these gorgeous little ladies in another shop. Wooden and about 20cm they are small enough to place just about anywhere on my display, including in front of the large busts. They can used to display matching earrings and/or bracelets for necklace sets, or just a little something for a few pairs of similar styled/colour earrings.
I hung a memory wire bracelet on them to show the size.

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Have a great Friday and there will be pictures and more fun from the market on Sunday 🙂
Jennifer